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Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Saint of Second Chances 2023 * * 1/2 Stars


There are many people who don't know Mike Veeck (myself included). Um, where's his wiki page? Yeah it's nonexistent. Mike is the son of the late Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck. You know, the guy who brought a little person to home plate, made his players wear shorts, and was the innovator of the explosive scoreboard. Their account is told through the swift and refreshing lens of 2023's The Saint of Second Chances

"Second Chances", well it's more about Mike than it is Bill. It really is. I mean I was caught off guard. Hey I'm not saying that's a bad thing but it makes the whole viewing experience kind of one-sided, an uneven torch passing if you will. Could it be that Bill Veeck has been dead since 1986 and his offspring just had to get in the limelight, to right the wrong from his Disco Demolition Night miscalculation?  Maybe. Mike has dabbled in the eclectic ownership of Minor League teams for over forty years, vowing to get back to the majors with Bill Murray and Daryl Strawberry support in tote. "It could not fail". Yeah you go get 'em Mikey.

Filmed with grainy archive footage and distributed by Netflix (there's a shocker), The Saint of Second Chances is disjointed in its approach, painting itself as less a documentary and more a ninety-three minute vindication, avoiding the notion of obviousness (that's not always a red flag). Mike Veeck's personal and professional life, well it's on full display here, whisking you from one set piece to the next as it gives the viewer meager time to breathe. Go with it if you're pastime junkie-d. I mean if you're a White Sox fan (I've lived in Chi-town for 21 years so yeah) then it's worth at least one watch. Split "second". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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